What to do?
Recently I have been thinking about getting into reloading my handgun ammo, .38/.357 & .40 cal. I also hunt and would need to reload .308. I don't shoot as much as I would like mainly due to ammo cost. I met someone recently that said he would help me get started. He reloads pistol and rifle rounds. This person said that I should get a Dillon 650 press & whatever else that I would need. He said that the only place he knew to get Dillon equipment was from Dillon. Is this press right for a beginner or should I look into something else? I don't know what else to add or ask. Thanks,
A fully loaded Dillon 650 is nice, but you'll have ~$1K tied up in it to start loading what you are wanting to load.
Start with a good single stage or turret press and learn the ropes. You should be able to get started for a couple hundred dollars.
Check Midway USA, Grafs and a few other online sites for reloading equipment. Also get a couple of manuals and start reading and make sure you know what you are getting in to and that you want to make the commitment.
+1 on the single stage press to start. I think everyone should start on a single stage, so that each step is "A" step. Get real familiar with how each step is performed (or screwed up), before moving on to faster, less deliberate function. You will use the single stage press later for isolated steps anyway, so it is never a waste or poor choice.
These guys are exactly correct.
Can pistol / revolver and rifle rounds be reloaded on the same press? Thanks,
Yes, as long as the press uses standard 7/8x14 dies.
Originally Posted by scgunlover1
The Lee Classic Turret is one press Lee definitely done right. I like mine a lot.
You can load about 200 rounds an hour with it once you get rolling.
It can be changed from auto index to single stage in less than 10 seconds.
Change from one caliber to another and start loading again in less than 30 seconds.
Great for working up test loads.
If I were starting out all over again that is the one I would get along with the pro autodisk measure and Lee Autoprime.
I have the Saftey prime for the press but it seems to always spit out one or two primers out of 100 on the floor so I prefer to prime while watching tv with the hand primer unit.
This would be a great press for someone learning to reload but if he is a compititon shooter in one of the games and shoots more than 200 or 300 rounds a week then he may be better off getting a progressive.
The press sells for about $90.00 and lee products load ammo just as good as their higher priced competitors.
review here: Real Guns
I actually agree with Tom, I reload with green machines , which I love, but a simple machine will do all you want. Start of as cheap as you can get by with, later the fancy/fun toys will come... and they will come. In fact if you are like most of the rest of us, you could have bought a lot of guns for what you have in your reloading equipment over the long haul. IN fact sometimes the guns become secondary to reloading, such as last week I was looking at a new pistol and started thinking how I would have to modify it for reloading... a glock.
Been reloading with a single-stage press from Herters since '75. (.38/.357, .41 Mag, .223, 30-06, .30 Herrett, etc.) It gets the job done.
Quantity was never a big factor with me, so I've never invested in a progressive setup. Pumping out one round after another is ... therapeutic!
One more vote for starting with a single-stage press. Get a GOOD one, something from RCBS, Redding, Lyman, or Hornady. I'm in the minority - I think Lee presses are junk (especially the progressives), and you will become unhappy with one rather quickly, once you get your hands on a quality press. I've never met anyone who sold one of the above presses to buy a Lee. :)
Progressives are very nice and I wouldn't want to give up my Dillon 550, but they are not a beginner's press, especially the 650. Cost is just part of the equation; complexity is the bigger issue. Get the process down with a single-stage and then move up when you have some experience.
Single stage is the best way to learn in my opinion.
Originally Posted by Majorlk
Best advice for a newbie reloader.
It is hard to beat a rock chucker (RCBS) for a first time single stage. I know lots of guys who have one set up right next to their progressives, I reloaded many thousands of rounds with mine before I put on a piggy back. If a guy looks around he can get fairly good deals on a used rock chucker at times, because someone wanted to step up to a fast progressive.
I agree with the above post a single stage press is definitely the way to go when starting out. I own a lyman ornage crush and have produced thousands of rounds of ammunition before making the jump to a progressive. There is just something about a single stage press and running through a batch of brass that just gives you time to forget the world and just concentrate on what is at hand. Personally I would think any single stage press just as good as the rest. Seems to me it would be pretty hard to build a bad single stage press since they are all simple. Hope my two cents help.
If I had to buy a new press right now and the choice was new rock chucker or the lee Classic Cast single stage I would go with the lee.
I would rather have an older model used rock chucker than the one RCBS sells now.
Those that think all lee presses are junk obviously don't have experience with the classic cast iron models (Classic Turret and Classic Cast single stage).
They are smooth as glass and beefed up.
More info here:
The Lee Classic Turret can be used as a single stage by removing the auto index rod, it takes less than 10 seconds to go from auto index to single stage.
I think the Classic turret is just what the OP is looking for. It will allow him to produce at least double the rounds per hour that he could do on a single stage and costs less than a new rock chucker.
If I had it to do all over again I would get the Lee Classic Turret first.
But to each his own.